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March 22nd 2018 marks the 25th annual World Water Day celebration. The EU and its Member States are partners of Myanmar in its ambitious agenda for water management, providing financial support, technical expertise and capacity building, and in assisting Myanmar to make full use of the opportunities that water offers. The EU and its Member States are committed to continue working with the National Water Resources Committee and other water partners. We believe that together we can achieve our goals and secure water as a valuable sustainable resource for Myanmar.
For Myanmar, water is both an important resource, supporting food production, drinking water, transport and development, yet also a key challenge, as erosion, flooding, and natural disasters have made clear. Integrated water management, taking into account the different functions of water, can be a key driver for sustainable economic development of Myanmar. It can help provide Myanmar with sustainable and renewable energy, support food production and development of a competitive agricultural sector, provide reliable and clean drinking water, and provide transport corridor’s to benefit trade and support Myanmar’s rich environmental diversity.
The National Water Resource Committee, under the Chairmanship of Vice President H.E. U Henry Van Thio, provides policy guidance to integrated water management, bringing together all the different stakeholders, both on a Union level and regional level. Its strong coordinating role is vital in ensuring that all aspects of water management are taken into account.
This year’s theme for World Water Day “Nature for water” explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century. It signifies the interconnectedness of water and our environment and it provides new solutions to the challenges we face. Integrated water management, taking into account all functions, benefits and challenges of dealing with water and environment, is key to a sustainable future.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are leading our actions globally. SDG 6 commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030. SDG 11 states that people are living in sustainable cities and communities which are water resilient. Climate change further adds to the challenges of water management, and the achievement of these goals. The urgency is clear, not only in Myanmar, but all over the world. The Paris Agreement provides the framework for action including in strengthening climate resilience and adaptation. One of its key political messages is: preparedness pays off.